Two new Morris County Sheriff’s Officers whose Basic Police Training Class was interrupted for 10 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic were officially sworn in to their positions Monday, July 20, by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.
Tyler Bartol of Roxbury and Michael Smith of Jefferson took the oath of office surrounded by family in the Historic Courtroom of the Morris County Courthouse after graduating the 94th Basic Police Training Class at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy on July 16.
Sheriff Gannon, who was joined at the swearing-in by agency Command Staff, noted that an official graduation ceremony did not occur at the Academy because of the ongoing healthcare crisis. Sheriff’s Officers Bartol and Smith are beginning their careers at a particularly challenging time, the Sheriff said, with COVID-19, broad economic fluctuations, protests and civil unrest in parts of the country.
The Officers, among 38 graduates, started the Basic Police Training Class on January 13. The class was put on hold on March 19 and recruits were allowed to return on June 1, more than two months later. During the unexpected class break, Officers Bartol and Smith were among the recruits who assisted the Morris County Office of Emergency Management with tasks related to operation of the Morris County COVID-19 Drive-Thru test site on the County College of Morris campus in Randolph Township.
“I know you’ve gotten here against all odds,” Sheriff Gannon said. “You’ve joined a great family in law enforcement. So, make a difference. Make THE difference.”
“I think there are good things on the horizon but these are challenging times,” the Sheriff said. He urged family members to support the new Officers, who may not always be able to celebrate holidays or festivities because of work duties. The Sheriff said that he, in turn, will always be supportive of the Officers.
Officers Bartol and Smith are assigned to the Protective Services Division, which is responsible for protection of judges and security in and around the Morris County Courthouse complex. Between March 30 and June 26, many of the Officers assigned to PSD were reassigned to security and traffic control at the Morris County COVID-19 test site, and transporting samples to a laboratory.
Officer Bartol is a Roxbury High School graduate who attended County College of Morris and earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Rutgers University. He was hired by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office after working as a dispatcher for the Morris County Communications Center.
Officer Smith is a graduate of Jefferson High School who attended County College of Morris then Moravian College, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology/law and society.
A college lacrosse player, Officer Smith coaches high school lacrosse and worked in the construction field before being hired by the Sheriff’s Office.
Officer Bartol was joined at the swearing-in by his parents, Laura and Geoff Bartol, and brothers Trevor and Ryan. His uncle, John McGuinness, is a retired Morris Township Police Chief.
Officer Smith was joined by his parents, Michael and Jill Smith, his sister Justina Smith, his grandmother, Kathleen Van Orden, and his girlfriend, Dana Monte.